Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Day 10 - 16 May - Porriño to Redondela

As The Beatles famously sang:

We had a good reasonFor taking the easy way outWe soon had regrets tho’For taking the easy way out, now

They were all day trippersOne-paced, no bag yeahIt took us so long to find outAnd we found out

Sometimes, you start the day efficiently, hit the road early and get to where you’re going almost before you know it. At other times….you don’t.

With only another ten mile day in front of us, I think a bit of complacency had set in. We reluctantly departed our ten-out-of-ten apartment around half past eight, had a leisurely breakfast in a cafe and then sauntered on to Lidl to buy in a few provisions for the day. Lidl - big mistake. They may be quick at chucking your purchases through the scanner when you eventually get to the till but just the one till open? Hmm. Not sure our banana purchase was worth it.

And as we came out of the store, a big coach was depositing around fifty day-walkers on to the route we would be taking. Complacency went by the wayside. You do NOT want to walk behind these guys as they clog up all the refreshment stops en route. Almost at a jog, we hurried to the front of the day walkers and followed the yellow arrows which seemed to be taking us in a direction other than the one we needed. Half a mile. Half a bloody mile detour to avoid crossing a busy roundabout via the pedestrian tunnel. If only we’d had Modesto with us. Anyway, we arrived via the long route to the other side of the roundabout and hit the trail. A coach went past and stopped around two hundred yards ahead of us, then proceeded to deposit another fifty or so day-walkers on to our route. This time, we took a detour off the main route to walk at a pace which would hopefully land us ahead of them once we picked up the official route. What a palaver.

Today we were mainly walking along quiet country roads with the Galician landscape for company. The weather was perfect. Hazy sunshine making for a pleasant temperature. Around four miles in, we stopped for coffee in the attractive and modern village of Mos. From there we began a generally steep incline climbing one hundred and fifty meters over around a mile and a half. Another mile and a half from this high point we stopped at bar/restaurant Churrasqueria Choles for a first beer of the day and here we met another Michael and Andrea combination. I’m sure there must be plenty of married couples around the world named Michael and Andrea but two, in the same bar in a little village in Spain. At the same time. Of all the gin joints eh?

Me ole bamboo, me ole bamboo

There then began a steep decline towards Redondela, one of those that can be hard on the knees unless you walk like a drunk and zig zag down. Once back at sea level, the final mile into Redondela was a bit of a drag with the temperature having ramped up and the heat reflecting from hot roads and pathways.

Tonight we have private rooms in a hostel situated smack bang in the centre of the old town. Once rested and sorted we set out to explore. It is a lively place, not unattractive and best known for its two railway viaducts which, whilst prominent, don’t overly dominate the scene.

Our first port of call was O Café da Vila, where we had a beer….and then another one….and then another one. This was entirely the fault of Mona, from Denmark, who we met properly tonight having seen her a few times over the last few days. Everyone knows that there have been many great Danes over the years, so much so that they even named a dog breed in their honour. I asked Mona to name the most famous great Dane and she came up with Niels Henrik David Bohr, a great Dane of a physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics a hundred years ago for his work on atomic structures and quantum theory. Not once did she even mention Peter Schmeichel.

We then moved on to bar Los Leones which, it seemed, was trying hard not to be a bar at all as it didn’t sell any draught beer, didn’t sell wine and didn’t sell coffee. However it did sell bottles of Estrella Galicia and 1906 so we were just about okay. Here we met properly with Tim and Laurence from (near) Bristol who Mrs C had been chatting up yesterday when I was deep in thoughtful Spanglish with Modesto. Laurence is having to nurse a foot issue which may see them having to abandon the upcoming, optional Espiritual route for the more straightforward Central route to Padron. Nice guys. It will be good to spend more time with them if we meet up in Pontevedra tomorrow.

By this time I was not only tired and emotional but also feeling the effects of too much sun over the last couple of days so we found a restaurant and before I knew it I was fed, back home and safely tucked up in my single bed in our €30 private room (shared bathroom). Zzzzzzzzz


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